SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – At My Olive Shack in Surfside Beach, be ready for a lesson in all things olive oil.
“My husband and I own this little joint,” said Sonja Hutton, owner of My Olive Shack. “And we specialize in infused olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil from Greece. It’s actually our friend’s grove that we get it from. So there’s no middle-man at all.”
Olive oil is sold everywhere. Every grocery store has it. But it’s nothing like Laconiko.
“This is international award-winning olive oil,” Hutton said. “When you talk about extra virgin olive oil, in your typical grocery store aisle, at best, if you can find an unblended olive oil, if you get a true extra virgin olive oil, the polyphenols, those antioxidants are going to be maybe 150 best shot. Ours has over 644.”
This place is different, and so are their olives.
“So these are not your typical olives you eat out of a jar,” Hutton said. “We do sell stuffed olives. Those are not the same olives. The varietals that we grow is a Koroneiki olive. It’s a young green hard olive. Very hard. The harvest season is between October and January of each year. So we just finished up, they just finished up the harvest for this year. [We] actually have the newest harvest on our shelves today.”
The only way you could get it quicker would be to get the olives raw. But according to Hutton, that’s a bad idea.
“You would not want to bite this olive. It would be crazy bitter and hard, actually,” Hutton said. “So they’re shaken from a tree. They put tarps down. They shake them from the tree and olives will fall gently. You don’t want to bruise your olive. That’s very important. As soon as oxygen is introduced, it depletes all [of] the nutritional value of it. They press within four hours of shaking them from the tree. It’s unheard of in the olive oil industry.”
If you’ve enjoyed that lesson, there are plenty more to be had at My Olive Shack.
“‘What goes with what? What’s a great vinaigrette? What combination? How do I use this?’ So to come here you’re going to get an education,” Hutton said. “You’re going to be able to taste all our olive oils and vinegars right at our tasting bar. We love to do that. So you’re going to taste before you buy, and learn about what it is you’re consuming and the health benefits of it.”
My Olive Shack is serving up food, too. They offer tasting classes where you can learn about olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and how to pair the different varieties with different foods. It’s just $20, and the meal includes a salad, bread and dipping oil, a meat, a side, ice cream, and hopefully a lesson you’ll remember the next time you want to impress your friends.
My Olive Shack is located on Highway 17 Business at 4th Avenue South in Surfside Beach.